Our Author of the Month for January 2019 is Tanzeela K. Hassan. She is an emerging Pakistani novelist. She is a mother-of-four, homemaker, and she also has a Postgraduate degree in Foods and Nutrition.
Q1. Tanzeela, it’s wonderful to have you with us for this Q&A. Please tell us about your humble beginnings as an author.
Thanks a lot for reaching out. I feel privileged to be interviewed by Literary Retreat where I have seen interviews of the authors by whom I’ve been inspired to pick up the pen. Coming back to your question as to when I started writing, it was merely two years ago after being impacted by two things that changed my perspective on life. Firstly, the views of the world about our beloved country; that it’s not a safe place. So that’s when I started putting my thoughts onto paper: the beauty of Pakistan I had just visited back in July 2016, which turned into my very first travelogue: RoadTrip.pk. Secondly, the reading habits of my nieces. I started shivering when I first started reading the books they had been eagerly digesting on fan-fiction sites like Wattpad. I am an avid reader of thrillers, and it was one of the times when you start reading the books your teenage nieces read, and you find out that the literature they are getting into has been dragging them towards the darker side of their lives. That’s when I started writing my first adventure thriller, Hunger, only because I wanted the new generation to learn positive aspects of life through reading books. So, I must say that one would always find something to learn from whatever I write.
Q2. Which writers have influenced your storytelling the most?
Hey, a true magician never reveals their tricks!
Jokes apart. I always enjoy this question the most because the answer remains the same. Out of all my favorite categories, which are mostly thrillers, be it the adventure kind or detective fiction; the authors that have inspired me the most include Arthur Conan Doyle, Robin Cook, Patricia Cornwell, and many more. There is only one series which I cherish above all others: the Jack Reacher series. Lee Child is undoubtedly the writer that has influenced my storytelling the most.
Q3. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t wait until you learn to write your best. Write and learn along the way. You cannot be the best until you start putting words on the page.
Q4. What are your hobbies besides reading and writing?
Baking, painting, and designing. I belong to an artistic family. My father is an interior designer and my siblings range from fine artists and architects to educationists, and thus, my hobbies have been inspired by them.
Q5. Tell us about your upcoming projects.
I have been working on my first book of the trilogy, Mujahid Khan Thrillers, with the first draft of Book One having been completed. This series will be of the adventure-thriller variety weaved with some of the historical events of the particular country that Mujahid visits in the stories. In Book One, Kapadukya, he is visiting Turkey. I am also compiling an anthology journal for tweens called Thazbook’s Anthology Journal—which will be a creative writing activity book featuring amazing stories from authors across the globe.
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